Duties and Responsibilities:

Dentists examine patients mouths, treat patients with dental problems, and provide preventive education.  Many are employed by dental schools, health agencies, hospitals, or professional groups.  Some operate their own practices.


  • Diagnose oral problems.
  • Fill cavities.
  • Perform root canals.
  • Treat gum disease.
  • Practice orthodontia.
  • Give anesthesia and perform oral surgery.

Dentists are healthcare professionals who provide preventive and restorative treatments for problems that affect the mouth and teeth.

Typical work activities

Most dentists work in dental practices where, in addition to the dentist(s), the team may include a receptionist, dental nurse, dental hygienist, dental therapist and dental technician.

A dentist is typically responsible for:

  • educating patients on oral healthcare;
  • examining teeth and diagnosing patients’ dental conditions by using tools such as x-rays;
  • assessing treatment options and agreeing treatment plans with patients;
  • carrying out agreed clinical treatments such as restoring teeth affected by decay and treating gum disease;
  • maintaining patients’ dental records;
  • recruiting, training and managing staff;
  • managing budgets and maintaining stocks of equipment;
  • keeping abreast of new developments through structured continuing professional development (CPD);
  • marketing services to potential clients.

Some practices also employ practice managers so that dentists can concentrate on clinical work.